When I read atheist blogs like the one with John Loftus I’m perplexed by the thought that these people express after leaving Christianity. They actually see themselves as having done something courageous or noble or that they have somehow turned the tables on Christianity. I suppose that for those who have been raised in a home where religion was used a a bludgeon or in some other profoundly controlling manner, breaking out of that did take courage. Yet, that's not generally the sense that I've gotten. The reason that I’m perplexed, or perhaps amused would be a better term, is that Jesus said that observing scores of people leaving Christianity would be a perfectly natural thing for us to witness. In Mark 4:3-8, Jesus tells about those who come into contact with the Word of God, with the Gospel, with the Good News of God’s provision of salvation and forgiveness of our sins.
What’s remarkable about this story is not that some people leave the "faith." What’s remarkable is the number that remain true to their original commitment toward the Kingdom of God. Twenty-five percent! That’s all. Jesus prophesied (and atheists like John Loftus fulfill that prophecy), that only about one quarter of those who are exposed to and seemingly accept the Gospel of Jesus’ salvation will remain true to that commitment. For another twenty-five percent of those who hear about Jesus, it will have absolutely no effect whatsoever. They couldn’t care less. It’s not for them. Finally, about fifty percent, again like Mr. Loftus, will resemble a flash in the pan. They will be caught up in, not a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, but instead they fall headlong for a belief regarding someone’s teaching ABOUT God. They have a belief in their belief. Sadly, the cares of the world, the desire to be adored or admired or to make money or to live a lifestyle that contradicts God’s Word will cause them to not just fall away but to turn their backs on the One who died so their sins could be forgiven. Did you see that number? Jesus said that roughly half of those who at one time say they are Christians will later turn their backs on their purported faith and become functional atheists; those who live as though God does not exist. If you’re an atheist who once claimed to be a Christian, you need to know that you are fulfilling Biblical prophecy.
And the rest? Well, again Jesus says that really, in the end, only about twenty-five percent of those who begin their journey with Him will complete their trek. Only about one quarter of those who claim Jesus, the Son of God as Lord and Saviour will one day hear,
“Well done my good and faithful servant.”